10 Steps to Surviving Moving Back In With Your Parents

There are few shames more mildly embarrassing, moderately irritating, and sadly prevalent in today’s day and age than the shame that is moving back in with your parents, post-college. Living with your parents is a life marked by awkward moments, stupid fights, and getting annoyed by every, little, thing your family does. Plus there’s the SUPER FUN part where you have to explain your living situation to your mature, elegant friends and colleagues.
But don’t be ashamed, and don’t freak out. It’s okay. It’s common. Everyone’s going through it. According to a study last year, 45% of college grads live back at home with their parents. So, with that figure in mind, and the knowledge that 45% of us are struggling, here are 10 essential steps to surviving moving back in with your parents.

1. Get out of the house. Simple maths – the more time you spend at home the more time you have to deal with all the crap of living at home. Got an online pile of job applications to do? Head to Starbucks like all the other unemployed people who are there at 2pm on a Tuesday. Make plans with friends. Go for a run. Whatever. Just get. out. of. the. damn. house.
2. Set a deadline to move out. It’s easy to think ‘omggg I’m going to be stuck here forever, what am I doing with my life’ when you’ve moved back home. So get proactive. Make a plan for what you’re going to do to change your situation, and give a deadline for when you can realistically move out. Then work towards that.
3. Ask for responsibility. One of the most frustrating things about moving home is the feeling that you’re a kid again, with your parents eager to do everything for you. You feel grateful, but embarrassed, so start lashing out. They get upset, you feel bad. It’s a vicious cycle. Be clear that you’re going to contribute to the household, whether it’s making a meal once a week or, if you have a job, contributing to the cost of bills.

4. Actually take positive actions. Sorry, but you’re not allowed to bitch about moving home and then laze about all day watching TV. Get up off your butt, and start applying for jobs. Ask your friends if they need a room-mate, and search listings online.
5. Don’t revert back to your teenage self. Kind of related to the last tip, but important to remember. DO NOT become a spoiled brat who asks their mum to make them a sandwich. Do your own damn laundry. Don’t get all snappy and immature. Remind yourself of how much you’ve grown up in the last three or four years, and demonstrate that maturity.

6. Don’t mistake your personal feelings for personal attacks. Yes, you might take it a little personally when someone says ‘so, when are you moving out?’ Promise, they don’t mean it in a bad way. Don’t snap or get defensive, just take a breath and remember that they aren’t trying to shame you, they’re genuinely just asking. Same response goes for ‘how’s the job hunt going’?
7. Give your room a mini make-over. A small thing that makes a BIG difference. If your childhood room still looks like, well, your childhood room, give it a few inexpensive tweaks to make it feel a bit more grown-up. You’ll feel a lot less like a child when you’re not living like one.
8. You may want to establish some ground rules/agreements. This goes both ways – maybe you’ll ask your mum to please, please stop entering your room without knocking, maybe your mum, in turn, will say you need to give her some warning if your date is staying the night. Make sure that it’s clear what’s expected and allowed from everyone to avoid massive screaming matches about why the HELL you feel like you can invite people over for an impromptu get-together, but don’t feel like it’s your job to tidy the kitchen.

9. Stop freaking out about where you SHOULD be living. Yes, it’s frustrating when your situation doesn’t match up to your five year plan, but it’s completely okay to be taking a breather to save up and have some time to work out what the heck to do with your life. Don’t put pressure on yourself or imagine that your life is in some way off track just because you’re living at home for a bit. The majority of people have been through it, and you’ll get through it, too.
10. Be aware of all the good stuff. Whenever you’re feeling down or irritated, try to be conscious of all the benefits of living at home. Free food! Quality time with your family! No possibly-crazy roommate! Be grateful that you have parents lovely enough to welcome you back, and give yourself permission to enjoy the good things about being home. Accept a cup of tea made by your mum, raid your Dad’s bookshelf, and catch up with your brother. Sometimes, living at home can actually be quite nice.
[Lead Image via HBO/GIRLS]

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